What Happens at the End of my Personal Injury Case?

Ninety-seven percent of personal injury claims in the State of Florida settle prior to going to trial. Many clients ask the same questions…’what happens after my case settles?’, ‘when will I get paid?’, ‘what is a release?’, ‘do I have to pay my providers?’  Even though the vast majority of personal injury cases settle, personal injury attorneys still have a quite a bit of work to do after the claim resolves.  Outlined below are the steps that occur, and the timeline associated with each step.

General Release

After the parties come to an agreement, the attorneys will prepare what’s called a General Release.  The release, which will also be reviewed and revised by your personal injury attorney, sets forth the terms of the settlement.  The typical release includes language that provides the amount of money that is being provided to resolve the dispute, a clause that you are responsible for making sure your medical bills are paid, that each party is responsible for their own attorney’s fees and costs, and that the lawsuit will be dismissed with court.  The final version of the release can take a couple of weeks to complete but is necessary to protect the interests of both parties.  The release works as a prohibition against any future claim for injury resulting from the same incident. The Plaintiff, or personal injury client, is required to sign the release.

Closing Statement

A closing statement is an internal document that sets forth the allocation of every penny of the settlement.  This document is prepared by your personal injury attorney and must be reviewed and approved by you before any money can be disbursed to anyone.  The closing statement will set forth the money that will be going to your personal injury attorney for his or her fees, the costs involved in the litigation, the money that is being paid back to providers, and the amount of money that will be disbursed to you as the client. This document does not take long to prepare, but is usually signed once the release is signed and the settlement funds are received.

The Settlement Check

Once the release and closing statement are signed, your personal injury attorney will request the settlement check.  The check is made payable to your attorney’s trust account and will be disbursed to you directly from that account.  Your attorney has a duty to make sure all medical providers are paid should they have any outstanding balance. The check typically arrives within two weeks from the date of settlement and as soon as the funds clear into your attorney’s trust account, your attorney can issue payment to you directly.

At Snedaker Law, we try to streamline the end of a personal injury case as much as possible.  We do this so our client can receive their payment from the settlement proceeds as quickly as possible.  If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Snedaker Law for a free consultation. Our attorneys do not get paid unless you do.